- Personal Finance
21 Ways to Make Money FOR OUR TROOPS
Time and time again our troops are selfless in their mission to protect, honor and serve, at home or abroad. However, 25% of all homeless individuals in the US have served in the military at some point. Our troops bravely enter hostile territories repeatedly to prevent hostility from reaching the shores of the United States of America. Sadly, more than 20% of veterans are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and only 10% seek treatment. Our troops, accepting the dangers and risks, consistently sign up to lay down their lives to protect us every day and every moment of the day. Unfortunately, 39% of veterans are diagnosed alcohol addicts, while those undiagnosed remain unknown. Our troops dedicate their time and effort to protect us today and the futures of our children tomorrow. Yet still, the suicide rates of military soldiers and veterans combined have surpassed 5,000 deaths per year, while attempted suicide rates of soldiers and veterans (a father, a brother, a sister, a cousin or a friend) remain unknown.1
It is quite unfathomable if you consider the role of our troops to protect, honor and serve at all cost - how extremely dangerous, stressful, uncomfortable and difficult life must be for the soldier during times of war. The toll of military life on these individuals is severe. Our soldiers shrug off the burden, stay focus in the line of duty and fight on. But then they come home… Our troops come home and too many unfortunately become uncomfortable, feeling disconnected and unable to relate to civilian life. Too many become homeless. Too many remain unemployed. Too many are disabled and depressed. Too many become addicted to drugs and alcohol. Too many enter a life of criminal activity. Too many become lost in life. Many feel broken and alone.
We Must Do More For Our Troops!!
“A 2009 U.S. Army report indicates military veterans have double the suicide rate of non-veterans, and more active-duty soldiers are dying from suicide than in combat from the Iraq War (2003-2011) and War in Afghanistan (2001–present). Colonel Carl Castro, director of military operational medical research for the Army, noted "there needs to be a cultural shift in the military to get people to focus more on mental health and fitness. Men and women in uniform need more protection, more options to turn to, more support and help from the US Government, the US Army and Department of Defense than they are getting thus far. The US Army counted 349 deaths by suicide in 2012 alone, which is a very alarming number. The number of suicide among troops in the military drew attention in the past couple of years and only improvement in the military system is going to be able to keep those suicide rates from getting any higher.” 2
We, citizens of the United States of America, must increasingly work together towards more effectively and fully supporting our troops!!!!!
There is so much more that we can do. Our troops at home and abroad need our help. Veteran benefits are insufficient and many times ineffective. Here you will find a list of 21 effective activities and services that we can implement daily to financially support our troops and help them back up on their feet upon returning home: “Our services to them for their service to us!” Most of these activities and services – as applicable – will not require additional costs. However, be certain to obtain further details pertaining to any of these activities or services before considering implementation. The time and effort we give for supporting our troops and veterans convey our selflessness and service to them.
We can ensure that our troops each have a house or apartment when they come home. We can help troops get vehicles or drivers for transportation, especially if disabled. (General Motors, for example, is a huge supporter of our troops.) We can ensure that while they seek employment, their basic needs are met (i.e. food, clothing, shelter, transportation, moral support, home care, physical therapy, psychotherapy, etc.). We can help them stay busy and fit with gym memberships, sports and recreation. We can support their further education and expertise (i.e. doctors, professors, pilots, authors, technical engineers, film producers, news reporters, lawyers, geologists, ecologists, economists, politicians, etc.). We can make our troops feel safe and stable at home as this is our obligation to them. Please feel free to use this information to start a local service for supporting the reacclimation of returning troops within your neighborhood or vicinity.
1. Community Fundraising. Communities are powerful forces for banding together in support of our troops. If you believe in supporting our troops, then there will be others in your community who believe as well. Union City, NJ, Naperville, IL and Louisville, KY are all cities where residents currently collaborate to advocate and publicize support for troops at home and abroad. Feel free to reach out to individuals in your vicinity by posting flyers, calling, emailing, advertising, etc., for collaboration to attain this common goal. Contact individuals in your networks and local government officials to support as well. Fundraising as a community is always more effective and productive.
2. Online Fundraising. Tap into your online networks via www.facebook.com or www.linkedin.com. Your large online following, connections or contacts can also donate to support our troops. Reach out to these individuals and businesses as well, allowing donations to be made directly through your website or webpage. You can use www.paypal.com to collect donations online. If an automated receipt is not generated for donators, then it may be necessary to provide a simple email confirmation thanking donators for their support.
3. Corporate Partnerships, Sponsorships and Fundraising. Most corporations will support a good cause and a clear mission statement. If you plan to get the support of corporations, it may be necessary to have a typed-up business plan or execution plan for the allocation of the funds requested. Most corporations will only partner, sponsor or support the goals of other registered businesses or non-profit organizations that adhere to Federal and State regulations, as well as clear and concise mission statements. Corporations such as General Motors, Samsung, AT&T, Kraft Foods, Target and Dell all support our troops. See the list of the best companies that support our troops. Corporations usually require formal receipts, documentation or reporting before and after making donations. Businesses, like individuals, receive tax deductions for such financial contributions during the fiscal year. Speak with an attorney or business consultant before soliciting any funds from a corporation.
4. Sell Clothes Collected from Clothing Drives. Request unused clothing donations from individuals to sell to the public at minimal prices. Similar to many thrift stores, such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army, individuals can request and collect clothing for resale. Clothing should be clean, tagged and hung for display. Different clothing racks of various sizes is most effective when selling. Most articles of clothing are sold for less than $10.00. The more clothes you collect, the more money you can make to donate for our troops.
Using Our Time to Support Their Service
How much time are you willing to dedicate each week to make money solely for financially supporting our US troops, veterans and their families?
5. Sell Food Collected from Food Drives. The collection of canned foods or sealed bottled foods for sale is a great way to earn cash for our troops. Canned and bottled foods only tend to last longest, so amassing these goods will serve as an excellent inventory supply. Foods can be sold at minimal for $1.00 or less. Elderly, disabled and impoverished individuals will appreciate these goods being sold or delivered locally. Companies as Clean the World and Bin Donated also collects unused amenities for the poor in developing nations. The cash generated from the food drives can support our troops’ needs.
6. Penny Drives and Collecting Spare Change. Pennies do add up. The only difference between 3 pennies and 3 million dollars is people who want to give. We can collect our daily loose change throughout the year to donate for our troops at the end of the year. Companies such as TD Bank retain coin-counting machines for convenient use. Banks are required by Federal law to weigh and measure neatly rolled or packed coins for converting to dollars.
7. Redeem Bottles and Scrap Metal Collected. If you have followed my blogs, you will know that I am huge fan of bottle collection. Collecting scrap metal is also a very practical way to make money. The collection of bottles or scrap metal is most effective when a vehicle is used to transport the collected items for payment. Cash for bottle collections can be redeemed at most local grocery stores, such as Walmart, Shoprite and Target. Scrap metal must be taken to a scrap metal yard for redemption where owners can accept or rejected your collected items. Besides collecting change, collecting bottles and scrap metal is one of the simplest ways to amass a sizeable amount of cash over time. Bottle and scrap metal collections allow you manage your own time and financial goals.
8. Interest Accrual. Interest-bearing accounts are safe for accruing funds. While the account-holder retains the full cash value of the account, the interest accrued on the account can be donated to support our troops. The cash accumulation in interest depends on the investment principal in the account. Therefore, a $10,000 investment held within a 1.00% APY interest-bearing account can generate approximately $100 at year-end. ING and Capital One banks tend to offer high-interest investments, such as checking accounts, certificates of deposits (CDs) and other forms of time deposits.
9. Yard Sale and Asset Liquidation. Most people have valuable items, possessions and assets that remain unused. Unassigned or unwilled valuable assets are usually forfeited to the State of the individual upon his/her death. Selling or liquidating assets now can produce a substantial amount of cash for supporting the needs of our troops today. Auctioning items online at www.ebay.com, www.beezid.com, www.quibids.com, www.amazon.com and www.ubid.com is a great way to safely maximize the purchase price of items.
10. Donate a Percentage of Business Sales. If you own a business, you can select a month – perhaps May of every year for Memorial Day – to allocate a fixed percentage of funds from monthly sales in support of our troops. For example, 100% of the sales for used race tires are allocated from Goodyear Tires to support troops. Businesses can also collaborate on endeavors to sponsor troops continually. Businesses receive Federal tax deductions for financial donations. Your business may be required to remit financial documentation of such contributions.
11. Donate a Percentage of Tax Refunds. Many individuals look forward to tax season since refunds are expected. Consider designating a percentage of your refunds for supporting our troops yearly. Keep in mind that all or a portion of State or Federal tax refunds may be assigned to a third party when filing taxes. Visit your State’s website or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website for more information on assigning cash from your Federal or State refund. As a loyal and dedicated citizen, you will have satisfied all taxes due to the government, while donating to support our troops.
12. Donate a Percentage of a Legal Settlement. Legal settlements usually provide a large amount of cash to recipients. If you have won a settlement from pain, suffering or loss caused by the negligence of another party, it is a great idea to make a contribution for supporting soldiers and veterans who were disabled in war while protecting us at home. It is imperative to remember the dangers inherent to a soldier’s mission to protect, honor and serve. Learn more about disabled veterans at www.dav.org.
13. Repair Vehicles for Sale or Sell Car Parts. Vehicles do eventually require repairs. Some cars, vans, trucks, etc. become completely inoperable over time. This is considered normal wear and tire which should correlate with the depreciation value of the automobile. If the vehicle is repairable, you can simply get the vehicle fixed and then sold for the proceeds. Vehicles that are inoperable can still be of use. The parts of the vehicle may be sold for cash. Car parts can be sold or auctioned at websites such as www.justparts.com, www.ebay.com, www.amazon.com, www.partingout.com or www.carparts.com. The cash proceeds generated from the sale of a vehicle or its parts can also be donated to support our troops.
14. Pawn Unused Gold and Jewelry. Gold and other precious metals or stones are continuously valuable. While the value of gold and other precious metals or stones vary from time to time, the marketplace for these elements and materials is continually active. Pawning gold and jewelry can provide a sum of cash for supporting our troops. Be certain that you have no further need or use for the gold or jewelry that you will pawn, since these cannot be returned once pawned. Pawn shops are usually locally-based.
15. Wills, Endowments, Trusts and Life Insurance Policies. Wills, or living wills, are legal documents created by an individual to assign instructions pertaining to the individual’s future inability to make medical decisions or manage assets. Endowments are large financial gifts usually bequeathed to an individual, organization or business upon the death of the endower as assigned by his/her will. Trusts, similarly, are financial instruments that designate responsibilities and instructions for underlying asset to another party (person, organization or business), who is called a trustee. Life insurance policies are set dollar amounts that provide insurance coverage for death-related costs of the deceased. The policies are perpetuities that are paid into until death, whereas personal cash loans can be borrowed against accrued payments into some plans. Funds from these activities can be assigned for the support of troops as instructed by the deceased. While many of these activities are prepared by other soldiers and military personnel, all citizens of the US can likewise use these activities to support the welfare of our troops now or later. Companies such as Wells Fargo and AARP provide all of these services.
16. Room and Storage Rental Income. Renting out a room or storage space in your house or apartment is a simple and consistent way to generate cash for continually supporting our troops. You may need to advertise this service publicly and get thorough background checks of any renters interested. Depending on the size of the room, its amenities (i.e. private bathroom, air conditioned space, 24-hour access, fully furnished, etc.) and the duration of the rental, those offering rentals can generate regular amounts of extra cash for minimal or no costs.
Room Rental Guide
21. Host Annual Military Fundraising Events. Numerous types of events can be hosted to generate funds for supporting our troops. Types of events include benefits, galas, marathons, performances, rallies, contests, sports games, film presentations, panel discussions, debates, etc. Funds can be generated from ticket sales, donations, sponsorships, auctions, raffles, etc. Inviting individuals from your network, military personnel, the community, government officials, military-affiliated groups and organizations, corporate sponsors and partners, friends and family members will increase turnout and inevitably increase funds collected. Events can entail rewards for service, film presentations, music dedicated to troops, advertisements of products and services for troops, information presentations, among other activities. Always end the event with a ‘thank you’ card and a small gift or souvenir for each attendee: flags, tote bags, maps, pens, mugs, pins, ribbons, etc. Food and drinks at events as these are expected. Feel free to showcase your hobbies talents and skills at these events at an immaculate and beautifully-decorated venue. Getting feedback will contribute to making the event even more successful in the years to come. United Service Organization (USO) provides a list of annual events.
17. Apply Your Hobbies, Talents and Skills (writing, painting, singing, etc). Similar to any other form of sale, your hobbies, talents and skills can be sold as well. Since this income is not your primary source of income, the money generated from the sale of these products or services can be best used to support our troops abroad or at home. For example, musical artists can create a catchy song recognizing the work and dedication of our troops. Proceeds from the sale of the song or funds generated in association to the song can in turn be used to support troops. A number of renowned musical artist have dedicated songs to the military and our troops, such as Carrie Underwood, Kid Rock, Simon & Garfunkel, Tim McGraw, etc., while increasing their popularity nationwide. Songs can be labeled or inexpensively posted at www.youtube.com or www.myspace.com for more publicity. Some songs are used by film producers within their military-focused productions. Other hobbies, such as writing, graphic design, photography, etc. can also be used to generate proceeds in support of our troops. It may be best to copyright your content before posting in public forums, websites or spaces.
18. Write History Books of War and Military for Sale. Tales of historic wars and military experiences never seem to get old. Today, many individuals continue to be passionate about the details surrounding historic wars and military events. History books, novels, biographies, etc. continue to play a significant role in the fabric of US society – who we were, are now and will be in future. Books as these are still sold all around the world today. Books such as Bleeding Talent, America’s Longest War, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Democracy by Force, etc. are all popular military fiction and non-fiction books. Find other fiction and non-fiction books at www.amazon.com. A portion from sales of your book can be remitted to support the services of our troops. Funds generated from military-focused blogs on websites, such as www.hubpages.com, can also be of service.
19. Auction or Sell War and Military Memorabilia. Museums and libraries are known for collecting authentic war and military memorabilia. The Military Antiques Museum and Centurion Auctions, for example, house venues and methods for auctioning, selling and donating real military memorabilia. The value of your memorabilia will be appraised. Proceeds from the sale of memorabilia can be donated to support our troops. If you own a large collection of military memorabilia, opening your own museum to display your historic items can convey substantial money-making potential. As a business, a portion of your sales can be regularly donated to support troops around the county.
20. Auction and Sell Antiques. The art of auctioning or selling antiques is captured in shows such as PBS’ Antiques Roadshow. Selling or auctioning antiques is not simple since the item must be authenticated. However, the expert appraisers will accurately inform you of the value of your antique, if there is any value at all. Antique cars, sculptures, paintings, photos, signatures and jewelry usually retain the highest value. Consider selling antique cars to wedding venues, museums, limousine companies and photography studios. While some individuals return home with the item once though valuable, other individuals may walk away with substantial proceeds from their antiques. Proceeds can be used to support to troops.
I am continually grateful for the service of all our troops. Pondering the role and responsibilities of our troops reminds me of the codependency of military and non-military citizens of the US – we depend on them for protection, as they depend on us for support. I must reiterate how important it is that we continually support the dedication and loyalty of our men and women who protect, honor and serve our country daily home and abroad. In doing more for our soldiers, we are doing more for ourselves. After all, they and we are ONE – “one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all”.3
- Statistics retrieved from http://www.veteransandptsd.com/PTSD-statistics.html
- Quote retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_the_United_States
- Quote retrieved from US Pledge of Allegiance
- All examples and images retrieved from www.google.com
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